01 July 2009

Fort Benton honors Irish hero at festival

From The Irish Emigrant Online: http://www.irishemigrant.com/ie/go.asp?p=story&storyID=4612

FORT BENTON, Mont. – Fort Benton’s Summer Celebration will take on a new Irish theme this year in honor of the dedication of the city’s latest statue; a $40,000 bronze bust of Thomas Francis Meagher, Montana’s Irish former governor and Civil War hero.

The festival begins Friday night with a performance by the Montana Agricultural Center of "The Coroner's Inquest Into the Death of Thomas Francis Meagher," a play based on a book by Paul Wylie that attempts to solve the mystery surrounding Meagher’s death.

Saturday will be a day full of Irish dancing, foodstuffs and bars serving exclusively Guinness. The festivities will conclude with the statue dedication ceremony at 1 pm on Sunday.

Local band the Shamrockers will perform all weekend long, and even wrote a new song specifically for the beloved Meagher.

The green theme is expected to draw the biggest crowd the Fort Benton Celebration has seen yet.